Always look on the bright side of life, particularly in times of the corona crisis

Group on zoom call

By Christoph Burger and Bianca Schmitz

While many clients decided to postpone executive education programs, we agreed without further discussion to run the fifth and last module of the first Bitkom Management Club virtually – a natural decision as Bitkom is Germany’s digital association. While the first four modules had encompassed digital strategy and innovation, acting as a value creator, customer management in the age of new technologies, and leading in a VUCA world, the last module focused on change management and business ethics – two topics of major relevance in the current Corona times.  

Participants went through a journey to familiarize themselves with the difference between technical and adaptive change, success factors of change management, the power of persuasion and last, but not least, the question of responsibility and ethical behavior in business.  

Thanks to our virtual conference platform, we were even able to virtually break up in smaller groups for exchange, discussions, and networking. Our faculty Ulf Schäfer and Urs Müller were well equipped in dealing with the situation by using multiple screens, headphones, special webcams, integrating more devices for flipchart and whiteboard function and even by pinning their screen when they wrote on their “real” flipcharts at home.  

It was amazing to see how participants engaged virtually as strongly as in the former classroom setting – with a positive side effect for all of us to get to know each other’s families a bit. Regular visits by partners, kids (the youngest just a couple of months old) and pets enlightened the atmosphere. If virtual programs will become the new normal, we hope that they will be as rewarding and joyful as this one.  

Nonetheless, we all agreed that we will meet to celebrate the graduation of the first Bitkom Management Club as soon as the situation allows for it, including certificates, drinks, hugs, and a small party. 

Insights from participants

“The remote delivery of the module due to Covid19 did not diminish the effectiveness or value in any way. Especially, as participants knew each other well already. I am honored to have been a part of the program and am super happy to have bonded with my great peers from various other companies, big and small. There were many different perspectives – and yet a lot in common. We will stay in touch, I am sure.” – Nils Müller, Managing Director and Head of Custom and FullStack Development (DACH)

“It worked better than expected. The Zoom conference call worked well and had some additional features we could play with (e.g. background pictures). The participants were committed and so disciplined that we could work together and behave like normal without going on mute. The program directors were so enthusiastic, that you only realized at the end of the day that your ears started to burn and your eyes were like squares after sitting 8 hours constantly in front of the computer. I was impressed, to be honest, that it worked so well.” – Ulrike Stockmann,
Senior International Project Manager,
Deutsche Telekom